Aquatic Imaging Flume (AIF)
CER has recently finished designing and fabricating a new Aquatic Imaging Flume (AIF) at the Idaho Water Center in Boise. The new flume features large tempered glass side windows and floor for optical access to conduct Particle Imaging Velocimetry (PIV) and other optical measurement techniques. The AIF is 7 meters long with width configurable to between one half meter or one meter. Water will be recirculated through the flume from the approximately 1,000 gallon reservoir box at up 500 gallons per minute. The flume was designed and fabricated by Jeff Reeder who is a Postdoc with CER with funding from the National Science Foundation. The flume is being used by CER faculty and graduate students and will be available for collaborative projects after it is fully commissioned.
PIV is a technique in which neutrally buoyant particles are suspended in a flowing fluid of interest (in our case water), a thin slice of that flow is illuminated with a laser sheet and images of the suspended particles are analyzed statistically to discern the details of complex flows. Experiments at the AIF flume will be focused on the details of the flow into and through the sediments that make up the stream bed. Using the clear sediments that CER team has developed, we seek to learn the details of chemical and biologic processes that occur within the stream bed and about interactions between the water column and the stream bed. Example projects include a study of the flow through the sediment of a simulated salmon redd (salmon egg nest). The details of the flow are important, because they transport dissolved oxygen to salmon eggs buried in the red. In controlled rivers the study will inform operators when to release water with regard to improving conditions for salmon egg development into sac fry.